Saturday, December 15, 2018

I hate the Merseyside derby

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 30 Nov 2018

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The Merseyside derby has very rarely been a happy experience for me as an Evertonian. Most of the pain has come from Liverpool having a better team and better players in my 30-odd years of supporting the Blues.

As a kid, I was subjected to these stomach-churning games, which could transform the atmosphere of the city. I remember as a kid feeling sick at a derby match and pulling my bobble hat over my eyes, as the Liverpool-supporting old lady next to me tried to offer me some comfort.

I also remember going to the derby with my granddad, who was only red in the family and having to put up with endless jibes.

A terrible record against Liverpool

Evertonian’s tend to dread the derby, as we have suffered so many embarrassing results against the Reds over the years. An inferiority complex has become self-fulfilling.

The Blues have failed to beat Liverpool in the last 17 games in all competitions. Just two victories at Anfield in the Premier League era illustrate how bad Evertonian’s have had to suffer at the home of their bitter rivals.

The poor derby record and a lack of trophies have become a stick for which the Liverpool fans can beat us with. It would be nice just to shut them up, even if it is just temporarily.

Best teams in years

Liverpool and Everton head into this weekend with arguably their best teams in years. The Reds are second in the table, unbeaten and looking far more solid in defence than in recent campaigns. The Reds look the most likely team to challenge Manchester City’s seemingly relentless run to the title.

At Anfield, Liverpool are usually formidable opposition and this weekend is unlikely to be any different for the Blues, who head into this game on the back of five wins from their last seven matches.

Everton are moving in the right direction under Marco Silva. The Portuguese boss has the team playing stylish football, something former boss Sam Allardyce never even tried to achieve while winning games.

The press were damning in their assessment of Everton fans and our treatment of Allardyce. ‘What more did we want?’ was a common question from idiot pundits and no nothing neutrals.

Well, actually, playing football is a start and Silva’s team are playing football. They are not the finished article by any means, but the squad is in far better shape after some excellent work by Silva and Marcels Brands in the transfer market during the summer.

The likes of Richarlison, Andre Gomes and Lucas Digne have proven big successes, while Yerry Mina has produced two solid displays in his Premier League starts.

In simple terms, Everton should be far more equipped to get a result at Anfield this season than they have at any time in recent history. However, we have said that before and it has shot us in the foot.

Liverpool big favourites for the win

When people say that form goes out of the winner for derbies, they are right. Everton could be heading to Anfield on a ten-game winning streak and still not get a result at their former stadium.

Liverpool are favourites to win the Merseyside derby at odds of 2/5 this weekend, and rightly so. The Reds have not suffered a home defeat in the Premier League in 27 matches and are gunning for the title. Everton’s task to come away from Anfield with a victory is a big one. However, Evertonian’s know that with the current group of players and boss, we might just have a chance, even if it is only a small one.

Who will win the Merseyside derby?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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